January 30, 2011
January was quite the month in Lesotho! Today is actually the first day since the girls’ visit that I’ve been able to stay home, clean house, read mail and just “chill”. It’s another rainy day, so staying in and catching up on correspondence is the perfect activity. I’d like to begin with a heartfelt thank you to all of you for the incredible Christmas gifts, wishes, pictures, messages. I spent the day reading and looking at everything for the second time… (the first was VERY RUSHED)! I am very lucky to have such dear friends and family.
June, thank you for the popcorn, the crystal light and the nail polish!
Margie, thanks for the awesome teas and the toothpaste.
Golfo, I LOVE the crazy stickers!
Kaye, Rich, Cat and Mouse, the backpacks, the pictures and everything else, were wonderful. (I especially love the picture of you in the American flag jacket.) Aren’t you getting tired of that answering machine message yet?
Anne and Renita…lovely Christmas letter; thanks. I use my mosquito shirt all the time!
Sherri and Mark, please give a special thanks to that friend of yours who helped with the Christmas list….and yes, we are teaching the Basotho about keyhole gardens. Most families have subsistence gardens here. We are trying to help people run them more efficiently, but it’s sometimes tough to drop old habits.
Rona, thanks for the knitting stuff and the great picture of the Wenonah staff.
Marsha, thanks for the help with the Christmas list. How are you, Chris and the girls doing?
Ann, I love my new shoes…and I like the picture of Sam even better! Do you know if anyone in school wants to pen-pal this year? I did it last year with Lara’s class.
Joanne, Audry tells me that you coordinated everything from the Steamboat end. Thank you so much. I love the soaps and the pictures!
Michael, I love everything you sent…especially all the notes attached to each item!! I was sorry, however, that the directions on one of the packages specifically said NOT to use arsenic in the shaker…ugh.
Speaking very selfishly, I have to say that my favorite gift came from Lauren de Lucia; it was a calendar for 2011…FILLED WITH WONDERFUL PICTURES OF MY FAMILY. Thanks, Lauren.
Please, please, please, if I’ve left somebody out, know that your gift WAS received; Audry and Fran did a miraculous job of toting everything all the way here!!!
Audry, Fran and I went on a whirlwind tour of Lesotho and South Africa during their stay. We visited just about every game reserve on the east coast of South Africa…saw rhinos, zebras, monkeys, elephants, baboons, snakes, lovely birds, incredible scenery, etc., etc., etc. Of all we saw, we seemed to be most impressed with the warmth and friendliness of the Basotho people!! I have REALLY condensed our “FAR-odyssey” to a shameful few words. Please forgive me; someday I shall write a book about my travels in Africa to make up for my lack of descriptions now. Hopefully, Audry will have time to enhance this blog session with some of our pictures.
When I think of all I want to share with you, I become overwhelmed.
It’s good to be back to school. My Sesotho is a bit stronger and I am pleased with the fact that I am understanding more in casual conversations! I wish that I could capture and send to all of you the joy on the children’s and teachers’ faces as they received their new backpacks and their knitting tools. At each school the teachers broke into song and dance when they saw all the new equipment…even at Renekeng…the school where our car got so stuck in the mud that it had to be towed out! It does rain a lot here…and the dirt roads are getting worse every day. Roads are not a priority here, since so few have autos. Most of the teachers walk or take the taxi-vans to work…and when we get stuck in the mud, we just get out and do whatever until we’re back on the road…of course that doesn’t work for a small two-wheel drive vehicle, but maybe Audry will write more about that!
I want to thank all of you again and again for your incredible generosity, your messages and your pictures. I miss you all…but I am happy where I am, doing what I am doing. Until next time, Rusty